Have you ever felt caught up, and maybe a little tangled, in trying to be someone you think you should be?
Things would go better if you could be better?
You would feel more of a “part” if you could be a little different?
You want to be more like someone you admire? I mean, it looks great on her, right? So wouldn’t it also look great on you?
You wish you were nicer … because after all, isn’t it always better to be nicer?
And on and on it goes.
I know, I’ve been there.
I spent a lot of years trying to nicer and sweeter. I thought that was the big goal. Everything would work out better in my marriage, as a parent, as a friend, and at work, if I could only be sweet enough.
It was a big thing for a long time.
Funny thing is, it never worked.
Believe me, I tried.
I just felt exhausted, not enough, and well, not nice.
It didn’t work because it wasn’t supposed to.
As much as the sweetness worked for someone else, it didn’t work for me. It didn’t hold my marriage together and it didn’t make my life easier.
I believe there’s a few reasons for that:
- Sweet is relative. One person’s unique expression of something that they value does not hold the same value in someone else’s trying to be the same.
- Nice is shallow. Kind is life changing.
- It is people pleasing and manipulative. What I was really trying to do was control other’s opinion of me.
- It was peace keeping, not peace making. I was just keeping the peace by doing what I thought others would enjoy.
What I needed to do was find the true value in the sweetness, put it in a box, put the lid on the box, and get rid of all the rest of it.
Sweet and nice are different than kind. We miss that too often.
We so easily use niceness to feel worthy, avoid conflict, or to change how people think of us. Often nice is more about what you don’t do, than what you actually do. (note the avoiding conflict point …)
Kindness comes from our values. It has action to it. It takes conviction and doing what you believe is right. It could actually involve the conflict that niceness avoids.
I needed to understand the difference and get clear on who I wanted to be. How did I want to show up?
I thought about the parts of being sweet that I admired, and the parts that made me go “yuck!”. Part of being sweet was being myself and part was trying to be someone else.
The process of putting the good parts in the box and then putting the lid on it and sealing it in became one of the processes I now use on a regular basis.
Good in, lid on, let go of the rest. Think about the good, keep it, and get rid of the bad.
What has you feeling overwhelmed trying to do, or be?
Are there things that you are doing to try and people please, peace keep, avoid conflict, or measure up?
Let me encourage you to get super clear.
What matters to you and what do you value?
How do you want to show up and what does that look like as you go about your day and interact with others?
Find the clarity of what you treasure, put it in the box so you can keep it, then put the lid on so you can keep the rest out.
It’s amazing how much lighter you will feel when you get rid of the weight.